There’s a glaring mistake in the 1993 dinosaur classic Jurassic Park that any good entomologist would know. The mosquito used in the film is the exact wrong species.
In the film, scientists extract dinosaur blood from the gut of a prehistoric mosquito, preserved in amber. They then use the DNA in the dinosaur blood to create the terrifying creatures that roam the island and eventually maim and kill many of the characters.
Yes, retired Navy entomologist Joe Conlon confirmed, mosquitoes did indeed buzz around during the time of dinosaurs feeding on their blood.
“They’ve been around for about 170 million years,” Conlon, who now works for the American Mosquito Control Association, told us. Unfortunately, the species portrayed in Jurassic Park — Toxorhynchites rutilus — doesn’t feed on blood. It’s actually the only type of mosquito that doesn’t.
T. rutilus is also the largest species of mosquitoes that scientists know of, even beating the recently infamous gallinipper.
Another problem with the movie: DNA couldn’t have possibly stayed in tact for 80 million years, a mosquito that large wouldn’t have blood inside it anyway. Scientists are trying to de-extinct some more recently extinct creatures, though.
Sorry, Michael Crichton, but thanks for all the nightmares.
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